How to work multiple full-time hybrid and in-office jobs

The truth is that most professional/whte-colar jobs are not fully remote. Sure they were during pandemic but the leadership wants return to the office. Maybe it has something to do with leaders wanting more control or oversight (infamous managing by walking around) while masking it under pretext of “culture” and collaboration. 🤦‍♂️But most jobs are hybrid (2-3 days in the office) and some are still fully in the office upon RTO. In another strange twist, some jobs can require to be close to the office (1-2 hour drive), because their leadership hasn’t decided yet on the future of work.

Of course, with fully remote jobs, you get more time and can quickly switch between meetings 💨, so it’s better fit for long term overemployment. However, sometimes you just need to work non-fully remote jobs. Maybe the bonus is coming. Maybe the opportunity is very interesting. Maybe you want to derisk a new role. Let’s see how you can make it work because I did it myself for several years. 

I had a 1099 contractor job and a full time in-office W2 job at the same time for several years. The 1099 job was flexible. I can work nights and weekends if I wanted. Oftentimes I worked during the W2 job time because I was efficient at my W2 job or because I had downtime when I was waiting on something 😑. When I needed to be present at the 1099 job (1-2 days per month), I would take PTO/vacation from another job. I was going to the W2 job office only 2-3 days per week because all of my team members were in a different city. 

Then before the pandemic hit, I wanted to switch roles and go from finance to IT/tech. I got a job offer from a company whose office was just 10 min walking from my current office. Both in the downtown area 🏙. I decided why not try both, because at my current job I felt like things weren’t progressing as I expected and wanted. One of them required a lot of phone calls, so I can pretend I’m calling clients while interviewing or doing calls with another job. Because I needed to make a lot of calls, it was normal to use conference rooms on different floors so no one suspected that I was absent from my desk for 2-4 hours. Bonus perk: both jobs had free lunches, so I can pick where I eat today.

Then pandemic hit and I saved myself 2 hours daily by not having to commute from suburbia to downtown. Now, with hybrid jobs, the jobs can be combined more easily, for example: Mon – J1, Tue – J2, Wed – J1, Thu – J2, Fri – WFH.

So, yes. It’s possible to work multiple full-time jobs in hybrid and even in-office jobs. Here are the things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your commute is quick, or you can work during the commute, eg. you can read emails on a train or bus, but not so while driving a car. 
  • It’s best if the offices of the companies are located close, within 10-15 min of each other, but not in the same building for the risk of running into coworkers.
  • You can start the day at one job, leave your jacket, bike helmet 🪖 on the table to show that you are in the building (maybe taking a call in a conference room) and then head to another work.
  • If one work is fully remote, you can just book conference rooms to take calls at your office job.
  • Find a table that has a back to the wall. 👨‍💻Then, you can work your job A while in the office of job B.
  • Proactively manage your calendar and decline/skip any unnecessary meetings.🙅‍♀️
  • 🚫Hide your badge when you go to another office and never wear any swag (clothing with logos).
  • Set up remote control on the computer of job A so you can control it and do the work from your personal computer while at a job B site. Software like AnyDesk or TeamViewer is easy and free.
  • Many companies have meditation, gym, lunch breaks which can be used as a cover up to work or take meetings for your other job(s).
  • Negotiate more WFH or work from a “satellite” suburbia 🏘 office (like Regus or WeWork) to get more flexibility.
  • Pretend that you live in a very far end of the metro area and that your commute is 1-2 hours to use that as a reason for more WFH days.
  • While in the office, schedule back-to-back meetings with all relevant people to be efficient. 
  • If a job requires you to be close to some office but you can still WFH, then just rent a virtual mailbox for $15/mo and buy VPN for $5/mo and live anywhere you want in the world. 🗺

So it’s possible to work two hybrid jobs at the same time and maybe one in-office and 1-2 more remote-friendly jobs. In office jobs can offer more pay than fully remote, especially in a high cost of living area. People who work in offices get promoted faster 🚀and have more support from management, on average. In person collaboration and brainstorming is easier and less tiresome than online. So there are benefits to working in the office. Be brave and smart and you’ll succeed.